Who Owns the Practicum? Initial Teacher Education Initiatives in Three Australian States

Research output: Other contribution


Over the last three decades, there have been over 100 reviews in Australia, focusing on the efficacy of teacher education; many, critiquing initial teacher education as unsatisfactory and in need of reform. The same partially effective recommended solutions to problems have continued to be implemented over time. As such, it can be considered that these on-going past repeated solutions, do not attempt to provide resolution(s) but continue to fuel long-standing debate about initial teacher education. This research looked at whether the recent changes to initial teacher education, with particular reference to the practicum, were substantive real change or just policy change. The implications and outcomes associated with the Commonwealth claiming increased control over initial teacher education, and how various interest groups responded to the Commonwealth’s assumption of increased control over initial teacher education, were examined. By analysing the general trend of initial teacher education initiatives from three varying sized Australian States, this research brought into focus the significance of the teacher practicum and as an outcome added to professional and public discourse concerning initial teacher education. This research study used a qualitative methodology applied to policy research, utilising Triangulation, Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), and Framework Analysis (FA), in order to understand the diversity of social and public policy issues in relation to initial teacher education. This methodology was deemed appropriate due to its suitability in addressing the research questions, allowing the possibility of three sets of data; namely, official documents concerning initial teacher education initiatives; in-depth interviews with leaders in initial teacher education, and academics published views on the practicum and initial teacher education reforms. Together, the methodology and three sets of data provided a clear picture about teacher-quality as phenomenon; identifying that initial teacher education academics’ vision of teacher-quality was not in-line with the way in which the phenomenon of teacher-quality was being used by the Commonwealth Government. This finding provides an answer to the central research question; the universities own the practicum.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputPDF online
Number of pages306
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Doctor of Philosophy, Thesis (Doctorate) – University of Adelaide


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